How to Work For Instacart as an Instacart Driver and Instacart Shopper
Last year, I was trying to diversify my 1099 income so I looked into doing deliveries. Among the delivery services, being an Instacart driver rose to the top from my research. I wanted to work for Instacart because it was the highest paying delivery service. Being a Postmates driver is a close second in terms of income but it can be less stressful than being an Instacart driver. Back then, Instacart also had a delivery only option for Instacart drivers that paid just as well as their Instacart shopper position but they phased out the Instacart driver position completely by the time I was onboarded.
How to Work For Instacart as an Instacart Driver and Instacart Shopper?
You can start by signing up for to work for Instacart as an Instacart Driver and Instacart Shopper. You can use the Instacart Referral Code:
- Sign up to Work for Instacart as Instacart Driver and Instacart Shopper (remember to put in my referral code SKWOK21)
I am unsure what is the sign-up referral bonus for Instacart, but here is the referral promo code for Instacart:
Here is the link to get your first delivery for free: Get Your First Instacart Delivery Free
How Do I Download the Instacart Shopper App?
Make sure that you sign up for Instacart before downloading the Instacart Shopper App. You will not need the Instacart shopper app until you get an email from Instacart about the onboarding session. Once you have gotten an email from Instacart and still do not know where to download the Instacart Shopper app, below you will find a link to do so. Instacart doesn’t give out the application publicly, so make sure to click the below link to get the Instacart shopper app:
What is Instacart?
Instacart is a company that delivers groceries to people’s homes. The Instacart Shopper will usually be posted at one grocery store during a shift and they will get shopping requests from that store. Instacart normally service the major grocery stores (Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Shaws, QFC, Safeway, etc) but also a few other unique stores like H-Mart (Korean) and Petco (for Pets). Instacart shoppers and Instacart drivers need to sign up for shifts and then you are told where to go and what hours you are working. The more active you are, the more likely Instacart drivers and Instacart shoppers get the hours you want through “Early Access.” There are times when there is so much demand that you can pick up shifts the day of.
Why Delivery as a Instacart Driver?
Some delivery drivers like these positions over that of Lyft and Uber even though rideshare positions typically pay more. Some delivery drivers don’t like to drive people around, but don’t mind delivering groceries and buying them.
Also, peak delivery demands usually coincides with lower demand on rideshare, so if you are a full time 1099 worker, it can be a good balance to do both if there isn’t enough demand on Lyft or Uber.
You also don’t need a 4 door car to work for Instacart. People with a 2 door car or even a smart car can work for Instacart, so people that can’t be rideshare drivers can be delivery drivers. There also isn’t a year limit on the car either, so if your car is very old, you can still work for Instacart.
Instacart Sign Up Process:
Like many other 1099 service jobs, the entire application is online. Here is a preview of the online application process as of the writing of this post. It has changed drastically since I signed up:
First Instacart Sign up Screen: Position
Here you will choose the position you want. Here are all the positions I have heard of, but it may not be available in your city:
- Full Service Shopper (FSS)- they will both purchase the groceries from the list and then proceed to deliver it to the person’s home
- In-Store Instacart Shopper (ISS) – they are responsible for buying the groceries and put them in refrigerated storage cases for delivery
- Instacart Driver – they are responsible for delivering the groceries from the storage cases. It is also their responsibility to check the bags for correct content. This position is now merged with FSS so that Full Service Shopper can both buy/deliver groceries and also just delivery groceries.
Second Instacart Sign up Screen: Requirements
You need to be 21 years old with full time access to a car and willing to work Sunday and Monday nights. You can just agree to it, even if you may not work on Sundays and Mondays.
Third Instacart Sign up Screen: Instacart Driver Requirements
You need to have full time access to a car and also have at least one year of driving experience, like the other rideshare services Uber and Lyft.
Fourth Instacart Sign up Screen: Smartphone
You will choose the type of phone you own and they will give you a specific link to download the shopper application that is used for both shopping and delivery.
Fifth Instacart Sign up Screen: Interview Questions
There are a few questions on why you want to work for Instacart. Just present yourself as outgoing and positive, and you will be hired.
Sixth Instacart Sign Up Screen: Scheduling and Hours
There are two questions on this page, if you are willing to work Sundays and Mondays during their peak hours and how many hours you want to work a week.
After the online application, a member of Instacart will reach out to you. It may be someone at Instacart HQ who is the Instacart city manager. You will have a quick phone interview with someone at Instacart and if that goes well, you will be invited to an in-person onboarding session at a supermarket. Most likely it will be Whole Foods. I will describe the in-person onboarding session further down in this post.
Instacart Shopper Training Videos
When I applied last year, the Instacart shopper training videos were mandatory and you have to answer a quiz at the end of each video. I have spoken to a more recent Instacart shopper and it took him two weeks to even find out about the Instacart shopper training videos. The Instacart shopper training videos and online quizzes are no longer part of the Instacart sign up process anymore.
It will be a good idea to watch all the videos before going to the in-person training session. It will give you a better idea of what to do as an Instacart shopper and give you some information before the in-person onboarding session. The session may cover things on the video and it will be a good place to use what you learned in the videos, like how to pick fruit and avocado.
In-person On-boarding Session
The quality of the on-boarding session will vary greatly depending on who you get for the session. I spoke with another Instacart driver and he said his was about 15 minutes and didn’t teach him anything at all. Mines was fairly informative beyond the content of the Instacart shopper training videos and it lasted for an hour.
The in-person onboarding session is to make sure all Instacart drivers downloads the Instacart shopper app. The on-boarding coordinator may also teach you a bit about picking fruit and also how to handle situations where the supermarket runs out of the requested item. The on-boarding coordinator also stressed the importance of organic and to be careful in handling organic produce. She also walked us through how to pick a ripe avocado. It seemed as if all of our Instacart orders would have at least one organic avocado in it. [Update it sort of is. After the first week, you’ll know the difference between a unripe, ripe, and bad avacado.]
She also asked if anyone was a Costco Member. If you want to shop at a Costco, you can request getting a Costco membership paid for by Instacart. I already had one so they noted on my profile that I had a Costco Membership. Also, this is where you will get your Instacart driver PEX card. You will buy all the groceries with the supplied Instacart driver PEX card.
There is also some paperwork to fill out while you are there. Once you are done, you will have to schedule an Instacart shift in the following week or two to fully activate your Instacart account.Have more questions about Uber or Lyft? Head on over to our Rideshare Driver Training Course!